Monday, September 30, 2013

Letter S Tot School

Tot school this week is all about the letter S! I have no pictures of Henry this week, because he went straight from tot school co-op on Friday to a weekend at Grandma's. These materials will be out for the rest of the week, so I'm sure Hen will get plenty of work in.

On the first tray was a practical life scooping tray. The glass tray included two bowls, one filled with stars, and a metal spoon. Henry could then scoop the stars between the bowls. The spoon only allowed for one star per scoop so it took time and patience to complete.

The second tray was another practical life tray -- scissors practice. I had cut strips of thinner card stock and used a permanent marker to draw different shaped lines {straight, right slant, left slant}. On the tray I included some safety scissors and a small bucket for the clippings.

This was a really popular tray with the co-op kids. Although, it was a challenge for most of them. The scissors probably didn't help because you had to be very precise to cut the card stock without a blade.

The final tray was a counting activity. In the past when I've included counters, I've only included 10 so Henry could complete one card at a time. However, I feel like he is ready for more, so this time I wanted to included enough counters than Henry could do all the numbers at once. When I made the activity I laid it out and, wow, it was overwhelming.

So, I turned to Instagram and got some fantastic advice from Montessorians. They suggested starting with only three cards and working up from there if Henry and the other kids were ready. I had the other cards and stars ready to go if need be, but turned out that only three was perfect for this age group! 

Other activities included:

Strawberry Size Sorting: 6 different sized strawberries on a strawberry shaped dish. This was a big hit.

Magnet Sheet: Always lots of fun

Letter S sensory bin: I have a different project in mind so I want to keep doing these through the end of the alphabet, but I think Henry is over them. No matter how many cool things I put in them, he totally ignores them. {Then of course I write that, and he can't leave it alone while I take a picture!}

Velcro Star Block: This was an old project I did way back for the color yellow. It was great fine motor and practical life skill still and Henry loves when I bring it out!

Letter S shaping: This tray included a letter S and an s, and a couple of pipe cleaners. I also included an example S. Henry could then make a letter S out of his own. I was surprised how often Henry attempted this, not perfection, but he tried!

Tot School
Montessori MondayFor the Kids Friday The Weekly Kids Co-Op at B-Inspired MamaTuesday Tots


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Pregnancy Loss Remembrance Day -- Sharing your Story

Over the past year or so, I've been very open about my journey with pregnancy loss. Blogging about my losses has helped me to find a support system and heal. Last August, I made the decision to talk about something that is often kept so quiet, and I've learned that even on the internet, people feel guilty for sharing. And through this, I've heard from so many of you, thanking me for sharing and sharing your own experiences with me. 

But, I realize that not everyone is so lucky to have this outlet. And I want to change that -- at least for small time. October 15 is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. During that week, I would like to host guest post from anyone who is interested in sharing their pregnancy or infant loss story -- either anonymously or under your name. You don't need to be a blogger or a writer, you just need to want to share. I will run the post during the week of October 15. 

I made this announcement a couple weeks ago on Facebook, and received an amazing response, so hopefully we will have a few posts. However, if we get more, I will make sure every person gets their chance to be heard. 

If you are interested in participating, please email me at thekavanaughreport @ gmail . com {just make sure to take out the spaces!} I will ask that all submissions be completed by October 10. 


Friday, September 27, 2013

The Empty Frame

In our upstairs hallway is a gallery wall. Filled with smiling happy pictures of Henry, our wedding -- the usual. And, there is one empty frame.

Originally, they were all empty And slowly we've found the perfect pictures. Pictures that Morgan and I are happy to look at all day, every day. But, through this process, we've struggled to fill the final frame. Did we really need more pictures of Henry? He's really cute, seriously, but how many pictures do we need of him in one space? More pictures of us? No. Our dogs? Didn't feel right.

So, it sat empty, just waiting for the perfect picture. Then, it dawned on me. The picture hasn't been taken yet. Our family isn't complete. Sometime, somewhere, somehow we have another child waiting for us. In that moment of realization, I got the courage to try again to get pregnant. I've struggled for months to decide where I wanted to go after my last loss. And, deep down, this was my answer.

Believe me, even typing that out gives me anxiety and brings up tremendous grief. But, that picture frame represents hope and our future. It's a physical sign that we want more. Even if I'm terrified, and feel pretty much hopeless, a little spark of hope exists even if I can't fully articulate it.

The picture frame will sit empty. It will wait. And, we will hope.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Nature Walk in the City

Since Henry doesn't nap anymore {or at least doesn't nap most days} we are constantly looking for things to fill our long afternoons. Summer made it easy, there was the pool, park, chalk, and just being outside. Well, this short summer is fading quickly and temps are only reaching the mid-70's at best.

But with the cooler temperatures, also comes beauty all around us. While we live in the middle of the city, we still have beautiful signs of fall. I was determined for Henry to discover this beauty.

We actually found the most amazing rainbow of things. It was perfect. And a perfect example of a rainbow for letter R week.

Once we collected our nature rainbow, we took it inside to journal what we saw. Using some paper and some color pencils, we each recorded what we found. 

This simple Montessori inspired activity was perfect for discovering the world around us and all the beauty the city has to hold.


Monday, September 23, 2013

Letter R Tot School

Henry is 30 months old.

We are back to letters at tot school this week after our back-to-school break! This week we have been working on the letter R, and so far Henry has enjoyed it. Prior to this week Henry could identify the letters R and r. 

On our first tray this week was a rock cleaning and polishing tray. This was by far the most popular tray with the kids that come to our Montessori inspired co-op. However, Henry hasn't been super into it. On the tray, are several rocks that I grabbed from my yard, a small pitcher of water, some baking soda with glass spoon, a couple brushes, a magnifying glass, and some towels. 

Montessori, rock, cleaning, polishing, tot school

The kids were able to do everything on their own -- from pouring the water to scooping baking soda and scrubbing. I totally expected this tray to create a huge mess during the co-op, but the kids did so great and not one drop of water was spilled!

On the second tray was a geoboard, and a small rainbow container filled with rubber bands. Henry could use the rubber bands to make rectangles or any shape he wanted.

Henry, and the other co-op children, were interested in this, but mostly lacked the strength in their hands to make anything meaningful. But, it was still good fine motor practice that kept Henry's attention.

The final tray was two dot sheets making the letters R and r. The tray included a small glass container filled with rocks. Henry could then make the letters using the rocks. He has shown zero interest in this. 

Other things we did this week included: 

Letter R Sensory Bin: So far Henry hasn't played with it. And none of the kids showed interest during the co-op. 

Felt Rainbow: Henry hasn't seen this in over a year, and actually liked it a lot more this time. He and several of the kids attempted it, although it still requires more fine motor skill then they have. 

Dry Erase Sheet: 

Match the Robots: Henry actually plays with this tray, and the wooden robots quite a bit. They are always a hit with him, and were enjoyed by the co-op kids. 

Magnet Board: 

Tot School
Montessori MondayFor the Kids Friday The Weekly Kids Co-Op at B-Inspired MamaTuesday Tots